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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Amanda Campbell: DragChamp Racer Spotlight

Amanda Campbell is in this week’s DragChamp Racer Spotlight. Learn all about this DragChamp Pro Member in her spotlight below!

OXFORD, MI – Amanda Campbell entered the racing scene in 2008, but her venture into dragster racing began just four years ago. Introduced to the sport by her boyfriend, now husband, he eventually convinced her to join him at the race track to watch him race. After spending many weekends at the track crewing for him, she decided to get behind the driver’s seat herself.

Fast forward to now, Amanda competes in Top Bulb/Super Pro events at drag strips spanning Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana in her Racecraft dragster.

Learn more about Amanda below!

DragChamp Logo

Racing History

Amanda got her start in drag racing in their tow truck, a plain old Chevy Silverado. She did decently in competition, even though it wasn’t consistent at all. She ended up with several semi-final finishes, a few quarter-final finishes, and even a win in the truck. When they switched over to a motorhome, she lost her race truck, so she crewed for her husband. During that time, she learned how to rebuild engines, transmissions, and work on any part of the car she could.

Once she got her dragster, there was a bunch of things to figure out because she was too short for the pedals. It took a few weeks of wrestling with the issue, but they finally got it sorted. She then went on to attend the SFG 1.1 Million Race, but there was one problem. At that point, she had not made a pass with someone in the other lane, nor a full competition pass. So, her first-ever competition pass was there at the SFG 1.1 Million! Luckily, the person in the other lane went red, so she also won her first round in the dragster.

It was a huge jump from running 10.80s in the tow rig to 5.50s in the 355 SBC dragster. Since then, her dragster has had a BBC put in it to be more competitive, and some chassis work has been done.

Amanda’s First Competition Pass in the Dragster
Her Tow/Race Truck & Dragster

Her Race Car

Amanda’s current race car is a 1996 Racecraft with a 2013 Diamond front suspension. Sure, it’s a hard tail, but that front suspension works great at masking those potholes and bumps! It has a 548 BBC, Fleenor glide, APD, and Abruzzi converter, which powers it to run 4.90s-5.0Xs.

Outside of Racing

When Amanda isn’t behind the wheel of her dragster, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, building LEGOs, and reading. During the winter, Amanda and her family can often be found going head-to-head while hitting golf balls at Top Golf. She also loves attending live baseball games and cheering on the Texas Rangers. When football is on, she is a true Dallas Cowboys fan. Her favorite thing to eat is carbs and bread, and her preferred type of restaurant is anything Mexican!

For work, Amanda works for the U.S. Army and is also the Community Manager for both ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE and ThisIsBracketRacing Jr.

Amanda’s Q&A

What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?

Sure, I want to win and get the big checks but really, I just want to be someone that if you line up against me, you know it’s going to be a helluva race. I do want a Wally, Ironman and the pretty sweet Norwalk Halloween Classic Gremlin someday. 

What is your favorite race car, and why? 

Any of them that go down the track LOL. Honestly, I do love my dragster. I guess if you caught me checking any cars out they would typically be a wagon or S10. I will say I love both Dennis Hall’s Malibu and Donny Burleson’s Chrome-Worx dragster though! 

Who has made the biggest impact on your racing success?

I have to say it’s got to be Luke Bogacki. Sure, I work for ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE but before my role in the community, I worked behind the scenes transcribing lessons. I find often I ‘remember’ things while racing from when I was listening to the lessons over and over again. It’s a little bizarre but nice to have all of that up in my head. It has definitely improved my racing the past few years from where I started. 

Who do you look up to in the sport?

I look up to a lot of racers that are successful. There are too many to list, but I’ve had so many great mentors and I am so thankful to have them in my corner. 

How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.? 

I have probably the best side hustle ever. I am the Community Manager for both ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE and ThisIsBracketRacing Jr. I really love being a part of both communities! I get to be a part of a community that is dedicated to racing, while learning – it’s the best! It doesn’t even feel like a ‘job’.

Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why? 

This is going to sound crazy but any other female racer. I know they want to win just as much as I do and I know that I have to perform at my best. 

What’s the hardest part of drag racing?

Reminding yourself that even after a mistake, you must move on and get back in the car with a fresh mind. You can’t dwell on it. 

What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car? 

Thankfully I don’t have any that come to mind. Sidenote, now that I have said that this coming year should be fun – HA!

What are you saying to yourself just before you stage the car? 

Right before I stage? I tell myself to let everything else go and just focus on the tree. That’s all that matters in that moment. Sure, I have my plan for down track but in that moment, it’s the tree that matters nothing more. 

What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack? 

Just being there, it’s better than any day anywhere else.

Amanda Campbell

Are you superstitious?  If so, what are they? 

I guess so, to an extent. I always buckle my belts in the same order (right lap, left lap, right shoulder, left shoulder) and put my gloves on the left first than the right. If I don’t it feels weird and kind of gets me flustered for a second, but I don’t think that it will make me have bad luck necessarily. 

Do you love to win or hate to lose? 

This question got me a little. So I hate to win a round I know I shouldn’t have. Dumb I know but I almost feel guilty. But I have also lost rounds that were so good that I wasn’t mad that I lost. I do hate to lose probably the most especially at the end of the season because I know I won’t get another chance until next spring. 

Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line? 

Finish line/executing my plan. I make the plan (or sometimes plans depending on how the race looks) and then I execute. That is one thing that I can say without a doubt that I am really good at. 

What motivates you to continue racing?

The thrill of going down the track. The competition. The way it challenges my mind both on the track and working on the cars. The ‘family’ we have made at the track. 

If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?  Car, trailer, class, race schedule, etc. 

I’d be racing full time, that’s for sure! I’d have a new dragster built to fit me (and my short legs) and an S10 footbrake truck. We’d travel and race as much as possible. Definitely an upgrade to a toter and stacker would be a must!! 

How often do you use a practice tree? 

I use it almost daily. I have a pocket one that sits on my desk at work and then we have the full size one in our basement. We also built two rigs, to simulate the door car and dragster, to practice in as well. One of the things that helps me stay dedicated and practice is when COVID happened, the Corona Lockdown Practice Tree League started. The league has really improved my reaction times and helps me stay focused. Plus it’s a lot of fun! Competing on camera adds another level of difficulty that you don’t realize until you do it. Highly recommend!! 

Amanda Campbell

What is your daily driver? 

Nothing exciting, just a GMC Acadia 

Favorite movie or TV show? 

Right now I’d say for TV it’s The Irrational and for a favorite movie isn’t quite as easy. I’d say some tried and true movies would be In the Army Now, The Equalizer, Police Academy, Austin Powers, Blade and then I’ll throw in a romance movie, Serendipity, in the mix. 

Favorite music, artist? 

I love all music to be honest. If there is music playing, all is good.

Where do you spend the most time on the internet? 

Honestly, most of my internet time is spent on ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE. I’m either working or learning. I guess scrolling through Facebook and IG from time to time. And Amazon loves coming to the house- HA! 

What are you really good at? 

You know that famous phrase, ‘Jack of all Trades, Master of None’? That pretty much sums up what I am good at. 

Amanda Campbell

Name one thing most people don’t know about you?

If I am stuck in traffic and/or stressed, Jazz music will be on to help me calm down.Big old school Jazz fan over here. Give me all of the Duke Ellington, Satchmo, Bird and of course some Mickey Blue Eyes!!

Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home? 

Quiet evening at home hands down. 

Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?

I’d like to thank my husband for everything he does for our racing operation. I’d also like to thank my dad for helping whenever and wherever he can. I am also so thankful to have such amazing friends (or as Dominick Toretto says, FAMILY) that are always there to support us. I’m thankful to be a part of the ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE community with so many great mentors. And lastly the Corona Lockdown Practice Tree League for giving so many of us a place to practice during the pandemic and even still to this day.  

What is a piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring racer?

Put in the time. Practice, learn, be a sponge. And when it gets hard or frustrating, keep pushing forward!

Amanda Campbell
The Day She Got Her Dragster!

For more DragChamp racer spotlights, click here.

Want to become a DragChamp Pro Member like Amanda? Check out the details here

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